HSBC Greater Bay Area ESG Index

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2023 annual report released!

GBA's first ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) index, launched by HSBC in 2022, has been used to track progress of the ESG movement within the area.

The first GBA ESG index in the market.

A combination of macro and micro methodologies that are internationally aligned, and locally adapted.

Tracking and evaluating the GBA’s sustainable development.

Inaugural ESG Index in the GBA

As one of China's most open and economically vibrant areas, the GBA’s Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area includes sustainable development concepts such as green development and improving people’s livelihood. HSBC has released the first GBA ESG Index in Q4 2022 to effectively reflect the status and direction of sustainable development in the GBA.

Developed in partnership with China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP) Environmental Consulting Group Limited, a consultancy specialising in sustainable management as well as green and sustainable finance, the HSBC GBA ESG Index provides holistic insights into the area’s sustainable development.

The GBA ESG Index uses a combination of macro and micro methodologies and is updated quarterly. As well as the main GBA ESG Regional Index, a number of sub-indices are compiled, including City Sub-indices, Industry Sub-indices and Sub-indices by company size. The GBA ESG Index aims to objectively reflect and track the GBA’s sustainable development and its ESG. 

From a macro perspective, we analyse the region, cities and industrial characteristics from five areas: policy, environment, economic and social development, corporate governance, and green and sustainable finance. The ESG performance of companies is evaluated from a micro perspective using the following five first-level indicators: environmental, social, governance, green and sustainable finance, and external assurance. To these an adjustment indicator, ESG reputation, is added which takes negative or controversial ESG events into consideration.

Low-carbon transformation in the GBA is anticipated to accelerate, spurring on high-quality economic development.

Daniel Chan | Head of Greater Bay Area, HSBC

2023 Key Highlights

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In the fourth quarter of 2023, the ESG Regional Index in the Greater Bay Area marked a year-on-year growth of 6%, reaching 127.29. Significant progress was made in terms of policies, economic and social development, as well as corporate governance, driving an overall steady improvement in ESG performance in the Greater Bay Area.

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Furthermore, the Greater Bay Area performed impressively in green and sustainable finance. The issuance of GSSS (Green, Social, and Sustainable Development-linked) bonds in 2023 exceeded previous records, reaching a high of CNY 200 billion, with a YoY growth of 21%. In terms of corporate governance, the Greater Bay Area also made continuous progress, with an ESG disclosure rate of 73% for listed companies in the 2022 fiscal year, an increase of 2 percentage points compared to the previous year.

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With the joint efforts of the government and enterprises, ESG performance in almost all key industries in the Greater Bay Area improved in 2023. The average value of ESG industry sub-indices increased by 22% YoY, reaching 185.31. The energy, discretionary consumer goods, and health insurance sectors benefitted significantly from the government’s increasing policy support. The report also evaluated the ESG performance of different-sized enterprises in the Greater Bay Area by analysing their ESG and sustainable development reports for the 2022 fiscal year.

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The report further delved into the ESG performance of the financial and healthcare industries. Financial institutions not only ranked second after government agencies as the major issuers of GSSS bonds in the Greater Bay Area, but also demonstrated a leading advantage in green lending, green insurance, and other areas. Regarding the healthcare industry, the report stated that healthcare accessibility is one of the most urgent ESG issues. In response, government departments and healthcare enterprises have actively taken measures to expand the coverage of medical services, enhance healthcare access for vulnerable groups, and promote health knowledge.

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